THE MAN DOWNSTAIRS by William F. Hallstead


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Twenty years old, just married, and hoping for two years as draftsman with the city of Millbury before going on to better things in street design, Don Ellison refuses to kick back the usual five percent as a ""voluntary"" political contribution and finds himself the victim of anonymous phone threats and police harassment. His reporter buddy's story leads to TV coverage and then a state hearing, which in turn results in job losses for the chief offenders--but, realistically, the politicos are merely given other titles with the city, and when Don is offered an inside deal by his new boss he resigns, realizing that ""the people change but the system goes on."" The implications are discouraging and the story is one-dimensional, but there are many Millbury's and few writers at this level who acknowledge the intractability of the system.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1979
Publisher: Elsevier/Nelson